Victim assistance unit employees receive certification

State's attorney praises professionalism of team

January 14, 2001

Shirley E. Haas and Latisha D. Mayne of the Carroll County State's Attorney's Office Victim Witness Assistance Unit have been certified as victim assistance specialists by the South Carolina Victim Assistance Standards and Certification Board.

South Carolina is the only state that offers such a certification to crime assistance staff and volunteers. Certification signals an individual's skill and commitment to quality service to victims of crime. There are currently 87 certified victim assistance specialists in the United States.

Haas was appointed in May 1995 by Carroll County State's Attorney Jerry F. Barnes as director of the Victim Witness Assistance Unit, where she continues in that capacity. Mayne joined the unit in October 1996 as the domestic violence coordinator. She is now the District Court coordinator and mediator.

"The Victim Witness Assistance Unit is a vital component of our office, and Mrs. Haas' strong leadership has made Carroll County's Victim Witness Assistance Unit one of the best in the state," Barnes said. "Not only are the members of the unit themselves dedicated whole-heartedly to rendering extensive services to victims and witnesses alike, but the continuity of care which Mrs. Haas and her staff maintain is the key to such a successful network."

The unit was recognized in April 1997 by the Governor's Office of Crime Control and Prevention, Board of Victim Services, for its exceptional work with crime victims.

Haas received the Governor's Certificate of Merit in April 1998 for her work in implementing an automated court and custody notification system in Carroll County.

Mayne completed training as a mediator in August 1999.

Haas and Mayne met the criteria for certification by taking 68 hours of specialized training and course work, having three years' experience in victim assistance, showing support from peers and supervisors and demonstrating professional skills and ethical conduct.

Specialists must apply for recertification every three years.

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